Welcome to Uptown’s first Pastor’s Blog post. In an effort to develop more conversation and community within the Uptown Blog, we will post a Pastor’s Blog each Monday. From here on out, you will hear from a different member of our pastoral staff each week. These posts will span different topics, resources and updates based on what each pastor feels compelled to share. Enjoy this first post from Senior Pastor Tom Hawkes and welcome to the Uptown Church Pastor’s Blog!
God At Work Through Uptown: Starting New Churches
Author: Rev. Dr. Tom Hawkes
God is always up to something. Something good. Something amazing. We wanted to make sure you knew of two wonderful ways God has been at work in our midst at Uptown Church.
East Charlotte. We have been extremely blessed by God to see a new church sent out from Uptown Church this fall. East Charlotte Presbyterian Church (ECPC) has launched under the able leadership of Pastors Tyler Dirks and Jason Piteo. Since beginning worship officially on September 7 ECPC has averaged around 80 people in attendance. One of the marvelous aspects of this particular effort has been the great cooperation from other churches in presbytery. In particular, several families from our own mother church Christ Covenant Church, which planted us twenty years ago, have been encouraged by the leadership of Christ Covenant to join the team. Thanks to our friends at CCC! Many of their small groups have a keen evangelistic thrust in the neighborhoods and are seeing many non-Christians or new Christians attending. Keep praying for ECPC!
ECPC at the Hickory Grove 4th of July parade
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This year the Elders of Uptown Church have committed to planting our next international church in partnership with City Discipleship Presbyterian Church in Malaysia, which is led by Pastor Wong. Currently Ian, along with his wife Darlene, both formally members at Uptown, have been working to reach unchurched people and pull together a Bible study which will, Lord willing, serve as the core group for this new effort. Pastor Micah, who served for two years in KL, before seminary and who is now on staff helping to lead our efforts in mercy, plans to join the team in KL in about one year.
The Petronas Towers located in KL, Malaysia
This partnership has been several years in the making and has already yielded fruitful ministry. Two years ago a team from Uptown traveled to KL to do training in leadership, last year a team of pastors and pastors in training came here where we lead them in seminars on preaching Christ from the Old Testament and leadership. This year a team from Uptown went back to KL where we offered training in worship, leadership and how to develop elders and deacons. The pastors and leaders from both churches have grown in a deep appreciation for one another’s callings and gifts.
Calling Tentmakers. On this recent trip to KL we were excited to hear from some new Christians who are growing, hungry and ready to share their faith, even at great personal cost. The plan is that in about one year we will launch this new church plant with our partners in Malaysia. We are actively seeking individuals or families who might be able to take a transfer to KL with their company and be part of the leadership of this new effort. These lay tentmakers were a large part of the success of our efforts in Prague starting about eight years ago.